Why is the relationship so special between humans and dogs? According to animal psychologist Clive Wynne it is simple, love.
Over the past 20 years, many studies discovered that dogs are much smarter than we think, but ascribing emotions to them stayed quite taboo. Many believed that ascribing emotions to dogs was a case of sentimentality anthropomorphizing the animal rather than using scientific analysis.
Animal psychologist Clive Wynne wrote the book “Dog is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You”, he described that dogs have a “hypersociability”, which is more than just intelligence, it is a desire for love. His conclusion came forth based on research conducted by Bridgett von Holdt conducted in 2009, she discovered genetic mutation in dogs that affected the gene that, in humans, causes Williams syndrome.
Williams syndrome is characterized by a moderate intellectual disability as well as an outgoing and engaging personality, appearing happy and eager to interact with people. The essential thing about dogs, as for people with Williams syndrome, is a desire to form close connections, to have warm personal relationships, to love and be loved.
Another study, conducted by Takefumi Kikusui from Japan’s Azabu University concluded based that oxytocin levels increased when dogs and humans looked at each other’s eyes.
Dogs desire affection, but it still requires nurturing from early in life. It also shines a new light on the history of the domestication of dogs according to Clive Wynne. We used to believe that dogs were domesticated, because of humans showing them dominance, a form of dog training, but actually all they want is for you to show them compassionate leadership and positive reinforcement.
Dogs give us so much and they ask very little in return, they want our company and need to be with us.